Activism / Christianity / Communism / folk / music / my songs / Personal / Politics / Religion / songwriting

It’s May Day!


♠ Padstow May Day, filmed by Pathe in 1932

On this day in 1983 I was baptised and confirmed into the Anglican Communion. My friend, Sydney Carter was there. I witnessed to the congregation how my life as a Communist had found its consummation in the comradeship of Jesus, that great revolutionary. That same evening, the church had already organised a discussion on Marxism and Christianity, and it was there I learned of the revelations of Liberation Theology.

Was it a coincidence that all these threads in my life came together on the day of my baptism? I don’t think so.
A Christian missionary to whom I told this story responded: “The Lord must gave had great fun arranging all that for you.”

So on that day, my schizoid life came together. It was if God was saying to me: Up to now, you have only played at being a revolutionary. From now on, the revolution is real, and it starts with YOU.
I wish I could say that I have always lived up to that great commission. But I know I have a comrade who will always pick me up when I fall, set me back on the path he planned for me before I was conceived in my mother’s womb.

Here are some new words I wrote to the tune of the Padstow May Song in 2014:

Unite and unite and let us all unite
For this is the workers’ holiday.
Workers of the world, now let us all unite
And celebrate the First of May.

Where are the workmen that now should unite
For this is the workers’ holiday
Rise up from your beds and let us all unite
And celebrate the First of May.

Where are the women that now should unite
For this is the workers’ holiday
Rise up from your beds and let us all unite
And celebrate the First of May.

When we are united
No one can defeat us
The bosses may threaten
But they’ll never beat us.
East and west, north and south, the world is united
A new dawn is rising, a new lamp is lighted.

So let us form a ring and together dance and sing
For this is the workers’ holiday
In brotherhood and sisterhood it’s peace on earth we bring
As we celebrate the First of May.

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